MINUTES

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

337 Napoleon Street

New Roads, LA 70760

 

SPECIAL MEETING

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

 

The Pointe Coupee Parish School Board met in a special session on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, at 337 Napoleon Street, New Roads, LA.  Mr. Chad Aguillard, President, called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.    

 

Board members present were Chad Aguillard, Frank R. Aguillard, Jr., Brandon Bergeron, James Cline, Debbie Collins, Kevin Hotard, and Thomas A. Nelson.

 

Board member Anita LeJeune was absent.

 

Mr. Brandon Bergeron lead the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.

 

Mrs. Debbie Collins offered the invocation.

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Approval of Revisions to the 2010-2011 School Year Calendar.  Ms. LaShonda Victorian, Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor, announced the school calendar that was previously adopted reflected that teachers would start the 2010-2011 school year on Wednesday, August 4, 2010, and students would start on Monday, August 9, 2010. However, notification was received that summer state assessment re-test scores are projected for summer release on Friday, August 6, 2010, and that a projected date for the release of School Performance Scores (SPS) for academically unacceptable schools has not been given by the Louisiana State Department of Education.  Federal  laws require that parents be notified 14 day before school starts of schools' performance status. In addition, waivers to the 14 day rule that were given after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike are no long available.  After meeting with principals and supervisory staff members, it was suggested that the School Board consider revising the calendar to reflect a start date of Monday, August 9, 2010 for teachers; faculty and staff reporting on Wednesday, August 11, 2010; and students on Thursday, August 12, 2010 (half day) and Friday, August 13, 2010 (first full day of classes) for the 2010-2011 school session. Other revisions were the second annual teacher only professional development day was moved from January 18, 2010 to August 10, 2010; the final teacher and staff only day will be the day after the 4th 9 weeks ends.  One-half days that are dedicated to professional development due to schools banking additional minutes of instruction are listed on the calendar as all schools will use the same one-half day schedule for professional development.  The Livonia High School graduation day will be a full day of school for all teachers, staff and students.  Livonia High School students and staff will be dismissed at 1:30 p.m. to allow them to prepare to attend the graduation ceremony.

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mrs. Debbie Collins, the Board voted to revise the 2010-2011 school year calendar.  Unanimously carried.  

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Approval of Revisions to the Attendance Policy.  Ms. LaShonda Victorian, Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor, presented information regarding compulsory attendance ages and general attendance polices (i.e., truancy procedures -school level,  parental notification and truancy violation letter).  She stated that by attending truancy courts, it was apparent that schools in the parish were sending different parental letters that were available from the JPAMS system regarding absences. One standard letter was adopted and will be used to notify parents of truancy.  Elementary students can miss 13 days of school a year and high school students can miss 6.5 days per semester and still be considered for promotion or successful completion of Carnegie unit credit.  It was mentioned that from time to time, parents will move without notifying the school system of an address change.  Therefore, in addition to a mail-out, a notice will appear in the local journal, The Pointe Coupee Banner, and will also be announced on the local radio station.

                                                                             

 

 

 

Note: It is extremely important that parents contact the school IMMEDIATELY if they feel that there is an extenuating circumstance causing the child to miss school.

 

Students missing more than (5) un-excused days from school are considered truant.  Continued un-excused absences from school will result in a referral to the school's Prosecutor's Early Intervention Program (PEIP) for elementary students and to the district's Child Welfare and Attendance department for high school students.  Failure to comply with or respond to interventions will result in an administrative hearing with the District Attorney.  The final step would be a referral to t e 18th Judicial Court for prosecution.

 

On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mrs. Debbie Collins, the Board voted to approve revisions to the attendance policy.  Unanimously carried.  

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Remarks from the Superintendent.  Superintendent D'Amico announced that she learned about an opportunity to participate in a Teacher Incentive Fund Grant last Friday, June 4, 2010. She provided School Board members with a handout of the following information regarding the grant: the purpose, background, award amounts, applicant eligibility, priorities, differential compensation, fiscal sustainability comprehensive approach, value-added measures, hard-to staff subjects, district commitment, etcetera. Superintendent D'Amico explained that there is a short window of time to submit an application for participation and stated that if the School Board would like to consider participation in this grant, and recommended expansion of the agenda at tonight's Special School Board meeting to determine if the Board would like to pursue participation. 


Board member Thomas Nelson interjected a point of order and questioned if an item could be added to the special meeting agenda since not all members of the School Board were present.  Mrs. D'Amico stated that Mr. Kenneth Sills, with the Law Firm of Hammonds and Sills, was contacted prior to the meeting.  Attorney Sills stated that an item could be added to a special School Board meeting agenda provided that 100% of the School Board members in attendance agreed to do so.  Mr. Nelson stated that he would yield to counsel. 

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Added Agenda Item.  Mr. Thomas Nelson made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Debbie Collins to add an item to the agenda regarding the Louisiana Teacher Incentive (TIF) Fund Application.

 

Superintendent D'Amico stated that participation in this five-year grant will not cost the system any money for the teacher incentive piece, and any additional funds needed over the five years for master teachers and program administration will be sought to be secured  from grants.  She mentioned that master teachers and mentors will be extremely busy collaborating with teachers (1 for every 15 teachers). Stipends will be based upon individual classroom teacher's student performance and overall school growth.  Pre and post test student data will be analyzed by an outside firm currently used in the TAP program to determine if student achievement at the classroom and school level increased. 

 

Mrs. D'Amico stated that several School Board members have questioned her about her plan to increase test scores.  She stated that besides scientific research based educational programs, she would like to institute the Teacher Advancement Plan in an effort to increase student achievement and district growth.

 

Mr. Frank Aguillard commended Mrs. D'Amico for seeking additional funding from another program since the School Board voted previously not to adopt Race to the Top.

                                                                             

Approval of Administration to Apply for Teacher Incentive Fund Grant.  Mr. Thomas Nelson moved to allow the Administration of the Pointe Coupee Parish School Board to apply for the five year Louisiana Teacher Incentive Fund Grant sponsored by the USDOE on or before the application deadline of July 6, 2010.  Mrs. Debbie Collins seconded the motion.  Unanimously carried. 

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Adjournment.  On a motion by Mr. Thomas Nelson, seconded by Mrs. Debbie Collins, the meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.

 

POINTE COUPEE PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

 

___________________________________

Chad Aguillard, President

 

___________________________________

Linda D'Amico, Superintendent/Secretary-Treasurer